Meet the Producer
The Château was purchased by the Bataillard family in 1969, when Aimé Bataillard decided he wanted to move his family out of Lyon, where he had a butcher shop.
In 1973 the family (mother, father, two sons and a daughter) moved into the old bourgeois Château and started working the vines – in the beginning they owned only 8ha of Beaujolais Villages and Chénas. The average age of those vines today is over 50 years.
The cellar was originally equipped with large wooden foudre (50 to 60 Hl size). In 1975 the family opted for the installation of concrete tanks, which are still in service today.
The two sons became actively (officially) involved in the Domaine in 1981 and 1982, alternating between school and working the vines and cellar. After re-doing the cuverie, the next major investment was equipment to cool the incoming harvest – an investment in 1982 that has proven its worth and is still in use today.
All the grapes are hand-picked and brought into the cellar for vinification.
The grapes are put into the vats and undergo semi-carbonic maceration. One of the key elements resulting in the finesse and concentration that is found in the wines, is that the grapes are cooled once in the tank and thus a longer, slower fermentation that allows for a greater expression of fruit and character. Beaujolais Villages will have an eight or nine day cuvaison while the Cru will happily bubble away for 10 – 13 days. Each cuvée will have a twice daily remontage to ensure that the cap is fully submerged to optimize the extraction of fruit and flavors.
Total production from the estate is circa 80,000 bottles of which much is sold domestically, however we are fortunate to be able to taste and make up our own personalized blends before anyone else sets foot in the cellar – put this down to Samantha's dog! Samantha now has the pleasure of making up blends that are exclusive to Boutinot – Beaujolais Villages ‘La Basse Cour’; St Amour ‘Cuvée des Amoureux’ and more recently Chénas ‘Le Chatelain’.
About the Winemaker
Having been with Boutinot since 1989, it’s fair to say Samantha Bailey has seen more than a few changes in her time with us. To rewind a little, what happens when you visit France as an au pair, study French at a university and then end up with a work placement in Burgundy (Beaune)...wine gets to be a (big!) part of your life, despite career advice suggesting you should go into accounting!
Her first job was with the very prestigious UK-based Wine Society in their marketing department, and then with Boutinot. The learning curve wasn’t so much a curve as a vertical climb but so exhilarating – tasting, playing, blending, learning. When you start with good ingredients the result can be formidable… BUT it’s not good enough to do formidable once – it’s got to be done every time and that’s demanding but then life without a challenge would be boring!
Originally it was just French wine but as time passed, we started to work in South Africa then Australia, Chile, Argentina, California, New Zealand and more. She does have a soft spot for South Africa, especially Chenin and Sauvignon.
Samantha is probably now more than half French if one considers the length of time she’s been there. She lives in a lovely part of France with her Portuguese husband and two girls, having managed to integrate into the village community and becoming almost one of the locals.
As she simply states: "I was born in England, but France is home, and I absolutely love the wine adventure that started 28 years ago and is still ongoing."